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Big dream for a triathlon

August 30, 2018

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

Two teens ‘try the tri’ in Waupaca

WRIGHTSTOWN – Luke Mobley is a renaissance sort of guy. He’s a top student as a sophomore at Wrightstown High School, an excellent athlete as a starter on the WHS soccer team’s front line and a solid musician, where he is known for his work on percussion.

But he had never done a triathlon until Saturday, August 18, when he and classmate Autumn Smet ran the long course at the Waupaca Area Triathlon. Competing in a triathlon was Smet’s idea.

“For a long time I’ve been talking about it,” Smet said. “I’m on the swim team [at the Fox Cities YMCA] so I thought it would be really cool to do all three [legs], and I’ve been training for it all summer.”

It was a first for both of them. Both are 15 years old.

But there’s more than an athletic challenge that drew Smet’s interest, something that brings a tear to your eye.

“My goal is to eventually do a triathlon with my brother, who has cerebral palsy,” Smet said. “I’m working to build my strength so I can do that.”

Her brother, Logan Verhagen, is 22.

“I’m hopefully going to be able to do the whole thing with him,” Smet said.

There is a bicycle with an adaptive part so he can ride with her.

“I will probably do the run by pushing him in a stroller, and for the swim, I will probably tie a raft to my ankle and pull him on that,” she said.

Mobley was aware of Smet’s dream to do a triathlon with her brother, and agreed to do the Waupaca Area Triathlon with her – ready or not.

Please see the complete story in the August 30, 2018 edition of The Brillion News.



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